Jimmy Fallon ups his game for Indy taping

February 1, 2012
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Tonight, my point will be proven on late night TV. But if you are reading this before 12:30 Wednesday evening, you’ll have to take my word that Jimmy Fallon seriously upped his game for at least the first installment of his four-show stint in Indy.

Warning: Spoilers a-plenty ahead.

Fallon didn’t just pay lip service to the city, he embraced it with a bold new opening sequence including high-energy shots of Monument Circle, Mass Ave’s “Ann Dancing” neon, and more. He worked Indy smartly into the monologue and made great use of a dozen-plus Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians, especially during the “Freestylin’ with the Roots” segment using audience members as the inspiration for improvised songs.

Guest announcer Deion Sanders didn’t have much to do, but the audience loved having him there.Tracy Morgan brought big laughs as the first guest in a segment that moved swiftly. The Tim Tebow segment was okay, although Fallon didn’t seem to have much to ask (when in doubt, use a T-shirt cannon). Even better were two hilarious video segments, one the world premiere of “Subs Across America,” built from audience videos. The other featured some inspired craziness that stretched a segment intro into an extended musical sequence involving Bob Costas, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and some creative slapping.

My only concern is that identifying the group of musicians on stage as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra may make the world think we have the tiniest symphony in the country. Ah, well, that’s a small price to pay for great exposure for the city…and a fast, fun hour of TV for audiences.

Note: Off stage, it was a fun show to watch being put together—except for the warm-up act who flubbed the name of the building (Herbert Circle Theatre…really?) thus throwing off his opening—and pretty much only—joke. As expected, Fallon’s house band, The Roots, were terrific even when the cameras weren't rolling.

Your thoughts?


  • Fallon Takes Indy
    I woke up in time to see Tim Tebow - loved seeing the set - Hope I get in tomorrow and that they didn't overbook as much as it seemed they did today.
  • Great show!
    I was at the taping of Wednesday's show. I loved the energy from Fallon and how he and show seem to have embraced being in Indianapolis. I expected the taping to take a while, since we were told to expect to be there up to 3 hours, but we were in and out in just a little over an hour. I spent more time waiting in line to get tickets and get in than the show took. :) Looking forward to seeing the rest of the shows in Indy on TV!
    • Tickets?
      I reserved tickets for tomorrows show but live in Cincy and have to get my kids on the bus before I leave. What time did you pick up tickets and do you know what time they ran out? I don't see myself getting to Indy before 11.
    • Link to Wed Night Show
      I thought Jimmy and the Show did a great job. Below is the link to Wednesday night's broadcast.

    • Tiny Symphony
      I stayed up really late to watch the show. I had the same fear too, when Jimmy kept referring to the handful of ISO musicians as the entire symphony! I did notice the audience demographic skewed very young! Maybe that's why I didn't get tickets......
    • roots
      do you happen to know the name of the song the roots played when they first came out?? before taping began i mean. i really liked it, but dont know the name and dont wanna go through the almost 500 songs of theirs on itunes.
    • Butler dorm
      This was classic and Blue II stole the 1st segment. Guy in underwear, beekeeepers, cheerleaders, tebow-ing on the Circle. classic.

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